With the main purpose of studying the performance of soybean seeds during the early stage of the germination process, seeds from three soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] lots of cv. IAC-15 with different levels of physiological quality were used.Three moisture levels: 90, 110 and 130g of water.kg-1 fresh weight, were obtained artificially in air 20ºC and 100% relative humidity. The rate of water uptake for each lot was measured. The imbibition damage after different periods of time was also evaluated. Seeds were placed between layers of paper towels, moistened with different polyethylene glycol solutions (PEG 6000), simulating water potentials of -0.04, -0.10, -0.20 e -0.40 MPa. The analysis and the interpretation of the results led to the following conclusions: The low water availability decreases the water uptake rate, and the increase in the water content of the seeds resulted in a reduced imbibition damage, at lowest water availability of the substrate.
Glycine max; soybean; seed; water uptake; imbibition damage